By Caitlin Rose
200hr E-RYT & Ayurvedic Counselor
First off, let’s answer the more glaring question, “Why Cleanse at All?” Modern day cleanses are quite counter productive in the fact that they are more depleting, then they are nourishing. Ayurvedic cleanses work from the knowledge of what humans need from our environment, diet and lifestyle to become balanced, healthy and happy. Cleansing, in Ayurveda, is a time of breaking patterns and habits that are not serving the whole individual; body, mind and spirit. It is a time of working though all of our undigested thoughts, emotions and experiences as well as optimizing our ability to digest as we reboot our metabolism and then allow the body to flush out the accumulated toxins. We cleanse in Ayurveda, because the environment around us is changing and we recognize the necessity in changing with it. We cleanse because we live in a modern world where it is easy to let our values, needs and schedules get lost in the chaos of keeping up. We cleanse because Ayurveda shows us how beautiful this life can be when we honor the fact that we are organic beings that thrive when we choose to live in accordance with nature. So, why cleanse in the Spring?
Here is what happened to your body this winter: your digestive fire (agni) slowed as the temperature dropped and sun rarely showed its rays, you added more difficult to digest foods to your diet as you celebrated the holidays, family and friends, you started to feel heavy and sluggish as the days grew short and the elements of earth and water accumulated within, your low digestive fire hindered your metabolism and weakened your immunity causing you to become sick, weak or low in energy and now the days are growing longer, your inner fire is starting to grow and you are ready to take action. Am I close?
In Ayurveda, we see the cold months as times to slow down, to retreat, to reboot. Unfortunately, this needs to be done mindfully as to not have these aforementioned side effects. Now, as the “freeze” is coming to an end, things within the body (and maybe your life too) are starting to thaw and you are beginning to see some movement in your life. As the thaw continues, these accumulated toxins are going to become stickier and heavier, it then becomes our job to increase the inner fire, reboot our metabolism and clean up so that we can flush them out before they turn into spring allergies, colds and weight gain.
As Spring will arrive on the 21st of March this year, the month of March is great time to take action. To start to clean up the diet, removing any inorganic, processed foods and incorporate local, organic, simple cooked foods back into the diet. It’s a great time to cultivate a routine, starting our days with cleansing (the mind and body), taking our activities outdoors, questioning how we spend our time and honestly checking in with what we want and what we want to let go of. Cleansing during the spring is the perfect way to reboot, reignite and reestablish the path we are on while clearing out any stagnation from winter and boosting our vitality and energy as we move towards longer, spring time days.